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Showing posts from February, 2011

Easy Green Tip of the Week

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Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs)


Over the past couple years, we have been switching out every single incandescent light bulb for the newer, more efficient CFL bulbs. While they do cost a bit more on the front end, the savings in your wallet and in the environment are huge over the long run.


Think about it. A 13 watt CFL produces the same (if not more) light as a 60 watt incandescent. By using 4 CFLs, we are still using less energy than 1 incandescent (13x4=52 watts).


In our apartment right now, we have 16 CFLs between 10 and 13 watts each. That means we are using roughly 200 watts to light up most of our apartment. With traditional bulbs, we would be using 960 watts!


According to cflbulbs.com:
Replacing a 75-watt incandescent bulb with a 20-watt CFL will reduce your consumption of electricity by roughly 550 kilowatt-hours -- over the life of that bulb. In relation to a coal-fired power plant, this amounts to nearly 500 pounds of coal (about the size of a couple garbage cans) that didn'…

On Creation

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Right from the start of Genesis, we see that God is a creator, a craftsman. He made the earth with purpose and intentionality. Therefore, everything He creates has meaning and value.

Next, we see that God does not rule from afar. He enters the darkness and faces the chaos head on. Redemption is embedded in the very fabric of creation.
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Now it's time for a bit of a side note. If you were like me, you probably sang as a child some little song about the days of creation. "Day one, day one, God made light when there was none..."


But then something happened. As I grew older, I started learning more about the "science" behind "creation." Apparently, sometime in the last hundred years or so, believing in a young earth and the literal 24 hour days of creation became a major tenant of the Christian faith. For some, at least.

I was taught that the 6 days of creation were exactly 144 hours. No more. No less. To suggest otherwise was borderline…

High Five Thursday!

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My Top 5 Inspirational Songs

Don't Stop Believing, by Journey
A classic power ballad made popular again by the hit show Glee, this song was my anthem a couple summers ago.

Favorite Line: "Working hard to get my fill, but everybody wants a thrill."



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Man in the Mirror, by Michael Jackson
Say what you want to about his life, but this song is powerful. It echoes the saying "Be the change you want to see in the world."

My favorite memory of this song was from our trip to Greece. We were on a cruise ship touring some Greek isles when this song came on over the speakers. I turned around to see that the Greek man at the photo booth and I were both singing along to it. We made eye contact, smiled, and kept on.

Favorite Line: "Who am I to be blind, pretending not to see their needs?"



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Beautiful Day, by U2
This song reminds me that every day is a gift. Don't take tomorrow for granted. Find the beauty in today because it's all a…

Beginning, pt. 2

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In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

So begins the creation story. From there, God goes on to create light and land and stars and everything else. As a child, and on into adulthood, when thinking about creation, I always pictured God sitting in his throne room which resembled something like the bridge on the Enterprise from Star Trek. I imagined God sitting atop his captain's chair, handing out marching orders to the angles around him, and watching it all take place before him on a 72" LCD screen.

But look what it says:

"Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters."


Formless. Empty. Dark. Deep. This sounds like a place I would never want to be. This sounds downright hellish. This sounds like the opposite of where God would be found, thus the made-up image in my mind of God creating from afar.

But God was right there. His Spirit was hanging out right in the midd…

Are they made of real girl scouts?

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Every Girl Scout Cookie season, I think back to this scene from the Addams Family movie. Classic.

Easy Green Tip for the Week

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I just want to start off by saying that we are not perfect. I will not judge you if you have not converted to the CFL bulbs or if you don't compost your dinner scraps.


I want to do these segments just as one family to another. We have been slowly taking steps to become more eco-friendly, which in turn is often bank-account-friendly, too! These are just some easy, simple, inexpensive steps that my family is taking to become more green.
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Easy Green Tip for the Week:


RECYCLE


I know it's a bit cliche, but this is one of the easiest things to do! If you can throw garbage in the trash can, you can recycle. If you know the difference between plastic, paper, and metal, you can recycle. If you remove garbage bags from your home on a regular basis, you can recycle.



It's a good feeling to know that we haven't thrown a milk jug in the dumpster in over two years. You will be amazed at just the shear volume of garbage you used to throw away. We never realized how much paper…

Beginning

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It is my general understanding that almost everything we need to know about God can be discovered within the opening chapters of the Bible. Genesis 1-11 are some of the most controversial, most hotly debated chapters in Scripture. Are they literal 24 hour days during creation? Was there really a Garden in Eden? Did Adam and Eve have belly buttons? How could Noah fit all the animals on the ark? Could there really have been a global flood?

Many of these narratives have been passed off as Sunday school flannel board stories. Rarely do we revisit these chapters as adults to try and figure out why are they in the Bible? Why did God choose to open the most important book in all of human history with such outrageous sounding stories? Or maybe they're not so outrageous if we just tweak our own modern/postmodern worldview a bit.

So let's begin in the beginning.

Genesis 1:1 -- "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

Thus begins the greatest story ever told.

N…

High Five Thurday!

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Since Thursday is the fifth day of the week, it is now the day in which I will post my new top 5 lists. You can see others under my "High Fives" page. Here we go!

Top 5 Documentaries (in no particular order):
Food, Inc.
Man on Wire
Tapped
Lord, Save Us From Your Followers
Eco Trip (TV series, not a movie, but it's my list : p)

Salt, part 4

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The hodgepodge crowds from around Galilee gathered together along the shoreline of the Sea. They anxiously waited to hear what this teacher would say. The rabbi stood atop the hill, looking down towards the crowds below, full of fishermen, bakers, farmers, and businessmen. A hush fell over the people, and the rabbi said, "Blessed are the poor in spirit."

And so begins the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus begins his most famous sermon with blessings. When Jesus blesses the poor in spirit, the meek, those in mourning, those hungering and thirsting for righteousness, people in the crowd new, "Hey, he's talking about me." These are the peasants, the outcasts, the beat-down, the lonely, the poor, the broken, and the have-nots. They were not among the spiritually elite. They were ordinary, helpless people who longed to hear some good news from God, because according to their preachers and rabbis, God blesses those who have it all together.

Not according to this rabbi. This…

Salt, part 3

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They stood at a crossroads. Abraham and Lot decided to part ways in order to prevent more violence and bloodshed between their respective families and hired hands. As they looked out over the land of Canaan, Lot chose the lush, wealthier region to the south near the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot goes south, Abraham goes north.

Flash forward several years and Lot had really made a home for himself. He and his family had moved into town, made a living, and remained faithful to God. Then one day, God sends some messengers to do some undercover investigation. Lot invites, or urges rather, the travelers to stay at his place for the night. You know the rest of the story. The men of the city threaten to gang rape the newcomers, and God decides at that point to destroy the cities completely.

God gave Lot enough warning to get his family out, telling them to never look back. As fire rains down from the sky, Lot, his wife, and two daughters make a run for it, never looking back.

Well, excep…

Salt, part 2

Salt is a curious substance. Just about every living creature needs small amounts of sodium chloride to keep it alive and healthy. However, too much salt can start to cause major health problems, like high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease in humans just to name a few. Salt is a naturally occurring substance in nature, especially in rock deposits and ocean water. It's needed for life. However, if there is too high of a salt concentration in the soil, plants cannot grow. And if there is too high a concentration in the water, fish cannot live.

This is why we have a place called the Dead Sea. Located at the lowest point on land, the Dead Sea is literally a drainage pool collecting all the minerals and salts from the land around it. The Dead Sea is completely incapable of supporting life within its waters. What's more, none of the land surrounding the Dead Sea is capable of supporting life. There is no naturally occurring plant growth for miles around. Just off the shore i…